Lochte banned for 10 months by USOC

Thu Sep 8, 2016 2:28pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - American swimmer Ryan Lochte has been suspended for 10 months and will miss next year's world championships for his part in a scandal involving the U.S. athlete and three other swimmers at the Rio Olympics, the United States Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

Lochte, who won gold in the 4x200 metres freestyle relay in Rio, will also forfeit bonus money from the Games, monthly funding he receives from USOC and USA Swimming and will not be allowed access to USOC training centers.

He will miss next year's national championships and will therefore not be eligible for the world championships in July. He must perform 20 hours of community service and will miss Team USA's post-Olympics trip to the White House.

Lochte, 32, admitted he "over-exaggerated" a tale about being robbed and held at gunpoint after a party during the Rio Olympics.

Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, James Feigen, Lochte's swimming team mates who were involved in the incident, also received sanctions for violating the USOC's code of conduct.

"As we have said previously, the behavior of these athletes was not acceptable. It unfairly maligned our hosts and diverted attention away from the historic achievements of Team USA," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun in a statement.

"Each of the athletes has accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted the appropriate sanctions."

FINA, world swimming's governing body, said in a statement that it was satisfied with the sanctions and would not seek additional bans.

"FINA considers the sanctions applied as proportionate, adequate and sufficient," the organization said.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Final - Men's 200m Individual Medley Final - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Ryan Lochte (USA) of USA reacts. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo